Chapter Summary

9.1  Explain the value of trust and communication in employee relations.

Trust is absolutely necessary to strong management-labor relations. Research shows that companies that have the trust of their employees have lower turnover, higher revenue, more profitability, and higher shareholder returns. As soon as trust goes, loyalty to the company goes with it. Open communications are needed for the organization to be successful because we can’t do what we say we will unless we communicate.

9.2  Discuss the primary reason why measuring job satisfaction is so difficult.

Job satisfaction is an attitude, not a behavior. We can experience behaviors directly, while we can measure attitudes only indirectly. Because of this, we must use some form of survey and ask the employees about their job satisfaction level.

9.3  Identify the best tool for getting employees to tell the truth about their level of satisfaction.

When using job satisfaction surveys, we have to ensure that they are anonymous or employees will most likely not tell the truth about their satisfaction levels.

9.4  Identify the commonly accepted individual rights in the workplace.

The commonly accepted rights of individuals within the workplace include the following:

Right of free consent—the right of the individual to know what they are being asked to do, and the consequences of doing it

Right to due process—a right to not be punished arbitrarily or without reason. Generally, we use the seven tests for Just Cause to protect this right.

Right to life and safety—the right of everyone in the organization to be protected from harm while working

Right of freedom of conscience—a general right to not be forced to violate the individual’s personal values and beliefs on the job

Right to privacy—a right to protection from unreasonable searches or intrusions into their personal space at work

Right to free speech—freedom to express their opinions or concerns within the organization, without fear of harming their work relationship

9.5  List some rights that management has in modern organizations.

We discussed two major management rights. Management first has a right to create and enforce an employee code of conduct. The organization can also identify the relationship with workers as one of employment-at-will, which basically allows either party to break the relationship at any time, even without stating a reason. These rights are offered based on the need for managers to be able to protect the organization and the employees from unnecessary danger or harm.

9.6  Contrast the coaching, counseling, and discipline processes used in organizations.

Coaching is designed to give employees feedback to improve their performance over time. This feedback in general should be designed to improve the employee’s motivation to perform for the organization. The management counseling process is designed to provide employees with feedback so that they understand that their performance is not currently at an acceptable level, and it’s designed to provide them with guidance on how to improve their performance over time. In cases where an employee is unwilling or unable to change or a rule has been broken, discipline is necessary. Discipline is corrective action applied in order to get employees to meet organizational standards.

9.7  Describe the major labor relations laws in the United States, including the main reasons why we have each law.

1.    The Railway Labor Act of 1926 was enacted to force negotiation between labor and management, first in railroads and later in the airlines, to prevent shutdown of these critical services.

2.    The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 was the first major law to deal with the rights of labor to form unions in the general workforce and collectively bargain with employers. It identified unfair labor practices for management in negotiating with labor organizations.

3.    The Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 was an amendment to the NLRA that focused on unfair labor practices on the part of unions and other labor organizations. It outlawed or restricted a variety of strikes and boycotts, and it also allowed the states to pass right-to-work laws.

4.    The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 required that organizations with certain qualifying characteristics should provide 60 days’ notice when laying off more than 50 people or closing a plant.

9.8  Discuss what management cannot do in attempting to limit union organizing efforts.

NO TIPS is an acronym that stands for no threats, no interrogations, no promises, and no spying. This means first that employers cannot threaten to terminate employees from their jobs, threaten to close the plant, or threaten employees in any other manner during the period prior to a labor election. Second, employers cannot call the individual employees in to question them about union organizing activities on either their part or the part of others within the organization. Third, management cannot promise that if employees vote against unionization, the organization will provide them with benefits because of their votes. Finally, management cannot spy on individual employees taking part in union organizing events, either through planting individuals in such meetings or through electronic or other means.